COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

May 11 20:36

To save $173.50 every week - Microsoft axes 55 people in India - Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times - Ruchi Hajela Software giant Microsoft trimmed down its India work-force [citing need to conserve cash in hard economic times].

“Due to a global realignment of our business priorities, about one percent of the net rolls across India are likely to be impacted. These adjustments reflect the necessary changes to ensure that the right resources are focused on the right priorities,” Microsoft India said in a statement.

May 11 08:36

UC Berkeley computers hacked, 160,000 at risk

Hackers broke into the University of California at Berkeley's health services center computer and potentially stole the personal information of more than 160,000 students, alumni, and others, the university announced Friday.

At particular risk of identity theft are some 97,000 individuals whose Social Security numbers were accessed in the breach, but it's still unclear whether hackers were able to match up those SSNs with individual names, Shelton Waggener, UCB's chief technology officer, said in a press conference Friday afternoon.

May 11 08:26

Windows 7 RC does not uninstall

Windows 7 does not uninstall automatically. While the installation says it is creating a restore point, that point is not your last operating system as in Vista or Windows XP. Microsoft is not clearly warning people when they download the free release code. None of the support sites contemplate reverting which is too optimistic.

This means if you are not happy with Windows 7 release candidate you can live with it or manually re-install your previous operating system. The last choice is time consuming and complex. All drivers will need to be installed for your computer, all programs, all data.

May 11 06:53

Signaling Sure Demise - And Unable to Sell Anything Else - Microsoft Plans to Join Debt Economy and Sell Debt

Bloomberg.com - Gabrielle Coppola and Dina Bass - Microsoft Plans to Sell Debt in Inaugural [GOING OUT OF BUSINESS GALA] Offering - Microsoft Corp. [...] as soon as today, according to a person familiar [...] who declined to be identified [...]

[DON'T BE FOOLED PEOPLE. The debt economy just claimed its biggest victim thus far. This is the first time MicroSoft was EVER forced to sell debt.]

n/a
May 10 20:03

Cybercriminals exploit swine flu fears with spam e-mails

Spammers and cybercriminals are exploiting fears over swine flu to peddle counterfeit drugs and steal credit card details, internet security firms have warned.

Millions of spam e-mails are flooding the internet, sending recipients to fake online pharmacies or enticing users to click on links leading to malicious software.

McAfee, one of the leading security software makers, said that its laboratories had detected a spike in swine-flu spam only a couple of days after the news of the spread of the disease broke.

n/a
May 08 12:26

Watch Out for the Scam Double-Bluff!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And you thought Nigeria was where all the scammers were!

May 08 12:24

Is JamesMakesMoney a Scam

This scam is running rampant let me tell you exactly what happens with this B.S business Ok remember this lil man says get started for a dollar well i’ma let you see the terms and conditions for that supposed $1 this young man is talking about. if you purchased the program or your about to purchase the program read what I TOOK STRAIGHT OFF THIS mans website on the order form. A reminder to all y’all before signing up for anything read the terms and conditions ALWAYS READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS I GOT THIS READ BELOW.

May 08 09:57

Facebook urged to remove Holocaust-denial groups

"There is no First Amendment right to free speech in the private realm," Cuban said. "This isn't a freedom-of-speech issue. Facebook is free to set the standard that they wish."

Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said his company is in agreement with Cuban that the Holocaust-denial pages are offensive and objectionable.

Where the two sides part, Schnitt said, is whether people have the right to discuss such ideas on Facebook.

"It's a difficult decision to make. We have a lot of internal debate and we bring in experts to talk about it," Schnitt said. "Just being offensive or objectionable doesn't get it taken off Facebook. We want it [the site] to be a place where people can discuss all kinds of ideas, including controversial ones."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Interesting that Cuban acknowledges that Facebook as a right to set the standards they wish, then proceeds to tell them what that standard ought to be.

But Cuban is actually wrong. Newspapers and magazines and TV are private companies, yet the courts have consistently ruled that First Amendment protections of free speech apply to them.

May 08 07:53

The true cost to the BBC of iPlayer...

Over on CNet, Nate Lanxon has delivered a stonking piece on the technical background to the BBC's iPlayer servers.

Which does raise the question, though: is it value for money?

I'm trying to work out how much more - or less - it costs the BBC to deliver a TV programme over iPlayer than it does to transmit it in the old-fashioned way.

This is surprisingly difficult to do, but I think I have an answer: it costs around sixteen thousand times as much to stream a programme as to broadcast it.

May 08 01:57

Student's Wikipedia hoax quote used worldwide in newspaper obituaries

A WIKIPEDIA hoax by a 22-year-old Dublin student resulted in a fake quote being published in newspaper obituaries around the world.

The quote was attributed to French composer Maurice Jarre who died at the end of March.

It was posted on the online encyclopedia shortly after his death and later appeared in obituaries published in the Guardian, the London Independent, on the BBC Music Magazine website and in Indian and Australian newspapers.

May 08 01:55

Cyberbullying Bill Not About Protecting Kids, It is About Shutting Down the Opposition

Arianna Huffington, the liberal darling in bed with the globalist George Soros by way of the Bermuda-based Atlantic Philanthropies, has posted an article on her website penned by Rep. Linda Sánchez, the Democrat congress critter from California. Sánchez is behind the so-called Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, an effort to impose draconian regulations on the internet.

May 07 14:14

Rupert Murdoch: “Internet Will Soon Be Over”

The establishment media is dying and advertising revenue has plummeted as people turn to blogs and the alternative media for their news in an environment of corporate lies and spin.

This has forced sectors of the corporate media to charge the dwindling number of loyal readers they have left for news content, a practice which is set to become widespread according to Murdoch. This will only send more people over to the alternative media as the old organs of de facto state-controlled propaganda wither and die.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The revolution has begun!

Do not wait for orders; grab your keyboards and ride towards the sound of lies.

May 07 09:53

Computer hard drive sold on eBay 'had details of top secret U.S. missile defence system'

Highly sensitive details of a US military missile air defence system were found on a second-hand hard drive bought on eBay.

The test launch procedures were found on a hard disk for the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) ground to air missile defence system, used to shoot down Scud missiles in Iraq.

The disk also contained security policies, blueprints of facilities and personal information on employees including social security numbers, belonging to technology company Lockheed Martin - who designed and built the system.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, simply deleting files does not destroy the data. The computer's delete command just wipes out the directory. The data is still there and easy to recover.

If you are selling or giving away a hard drive, FORMAT IT, preferably more than once. Personally, I would physically destroy my old hard drives rather than sell or give them away.

If you are selling or giving away a computer, you need to repeatedly over-write the files using tools which can be found online. Even this can be risky since modern computers are designed to leave "forensics files" hidden in places where the users are not likely to look containing information of potential interest to law enforcement. When I process a computer for "Hawaii's Computers For Kids" I will mil-spec wipe the drive completely, then reinstall a new operating system. These days I put LINUX and Open Office on the machines since Microsoft is being such pricks about donating XP to charities.

May 07 09:51

Anti-missile defence details found on secondhand computer

Highly sensitive details of a key US missile defence system have been found on the hard drive of a computer that was disposed of in California.

The information about defence contractor Lockheed Martin included a document detailing test launch procedures, blueprints of facilities and photos and personal daat about employees – including their social security numbers.

Access to such data could allow identity theft or industrial espionage against Lockheed Martin, which is working on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system – a project begun under president Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" Strategic Defence Initiative in the 1980s.

May 07 09:51

Silly John Kerry worried about online journalism, 70,000,000 bloggers

In short, here's what Kerry says: Blah blah blah blah blah blah time we examine the future of journalism in the digital Information Age blah blah and what it means to our Republic and to our democracy.

Blah blah blah blah blah newspapers blah entertained us; they enraged us, but always, they have informed us.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wonder if the fact that the blogs uncovered Kerry's hot young trim back in 2004 might have something to do with his concerns?

May 07 08:45

THE INTERNET IS THE GREATEST THREAT FACING AMERICA TODAY

Jay Rockefeller: Internet should have never existed….. all because of ’some kid in Latvia’.

May 07 08:40

Dirty little secrets of the keyboard revealed

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We use spill-proof keyboards here which have a solid membrane over the actual switches. Those are far easier to clean because you can open up the keyboard case, clean the membrane (I use a vacuum cleaner) then re-assemble the unit.

Of course, these keys are so worn down I can't see the letters any more, so maybe it is time to get a new keyboard! :)

May 07 07:41

Murdoch: Web sites to charge for content

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch expects News Corporation-owned newspaper Web sites to start charging users for access within a year in a move which analysts say could radically shake-up the culture of freely available content.

May 06 20:11

One tonne 'Baby' marks its birth

Sixty years ago the "modern computer" was born in a lab in Manchester.

The Small Scale Experimental Machine, or "Baby", was the first to contain memory which could store a program.

The room-sized computer's ability to carry out different tasks - without having to be rebuilt - has led some to describe it as the "first modern PC".

Using just 128 bytes of memory, it successfully ran its first set of instructions - to determine the highest factor of a number - on 21 June 1948.

May 06 14:49

Police prying into stars' data Records system often misused, state audit finds

The Criminal Offender Record Information system, with its massive databases of criminal records, driving histories, car ownership, and Social Security numbers, is intended to provide police and prosecutors with complete portraits of individuals who have been arrested or brought into the court system.

Law enforcement personnel looked up personal information on Patriots star Tom Brady 968 times - seeking anything from his driver's license photo and home address, to whether he had purchased a gun - and auditors discovered "repeated searches and queries" on dozens of other celebrities

May 06 10:31

Prison Awaiting Hostile Bloggers

Sanchez’s bill goes way beyond cyberbullying and comes close to making it a federal offense to log onto the internet or use the telephone. The methods of communication where hostile speech is banned include e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones and text messages.

We can’t say what we think of Sanchez’s proposal. Doing so would clearly get us two years in solitary confinement.

May 06 08:31

Zombie computers 'on the rise'

Twelve million computers have been hijacked by cyber-criminals and detected by security vendor McAfee since January, the firm has said.

It reports there has been a 50% increase in the number of detected so-called "zombie" computers since 2008.

May 05 08:41

Goodbye bloggers, it was a nice run

Look for this act to be used to go after bloggers who don't goose-step to the ADL's tune or write puff pieces about how great a country that Apartheid nightmare Israel is.

May 05 07:44

Meet Francis V., a failed phisher

The subject line alone was enough to unmask this criminal mastermind: "This message it is confidential."

This message it is really not from the IRS.

May 04 08:16

Tax Google to help the BBC, say ministers

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Tax light bulbs to help keep candle-makers in business!

May 03 22:08

An invention that could change the internet for ever

The biggest internet revolution for a generation will be unveiled this month with the launch of software that will understand questions and give specific, tailored answers in a way that the web has never managed before.

The new system, Wolfram Alpha, showcased at Harvard University in the US last week, takes the first step towards what many consider to be the internet's Holy Grail – a global store of information that understands and responds to ordinary language in the same way a person does.

May 03 17:24

French Internet piracy bill back in parliament

French lawmakers Wednesday started examining a new version of a contested bill that would cut off illegal downloaders from the Internet, in a tough new precedent for efforts to fight film and music piracy. Under a "three-strikes" system, the law would set up a state agency to send illegal file-sharers an email warning, then a letter, and suspend their Internet account for up to a year if they are caught a third time.

May 01 09:32

Web tool 'as important as Google'

A web tool that "could be as important as Google", according to some experts, has been shown off to the public.

Wolfram Alpha is the brainchild of British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram.

The free program aims to answer questions directly, rather than display web pages in response to a query like a search engine.

The "computational knowledge engine", as the technology is known, will be available to the public from the middle of May this year.

"Our goal is to make expert knowledge accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime," said Dr Wolfram at the demonstration at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Apr 30 18:44

New Vulnerability Discovered in ALL Adobe Reader Versions

Earlier this year, Adobe had to fess up that its flagship PDF Reader, used by virtually the entire business and Internet communities had a critical security vulnerability which could cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Now their security staff is reporting that a critical vulnerability in every version of the Reader may be affected due to a weakness found in JavaScript.

Apr 30 18:44

New Vulnerability Discovered in ALL Adobe Reader Versions

Earlier this year, Adobe had to fess up that its flagship PDF Reader, used by virtually the entire business and Internet communities had a critical security vulnerability which could cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Now their security staff is reporting that a critical vulnerability in every version of the Reader may be affected due to a weakness found in JavaScript.

Apr 30 15:42

Warning over swine flu spam emails

The swine flu spam is being sent from all over the world from a network of compromised computers, with the majority coming from Brazil, the United States and Germany.

Spammers are using the virus to try to sell bogus pharmaceuticals or infect computers with malicious software.

Internet users were warned not to click on links embedded in the emails and to try to avoid opening the mail in the first place.

McAfee's director of security research, Dave Marcus, said: "Malware writers, spammers and scammers are low lives. They will use any high impact news story to push their wares."

Apr 30 13:11

Beware surfers: cyberspace is filling up

Experts predict that consumer demand, already growing at 60 per cent a year, will start to exceed supply from as early as next year because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry websites such as YouTube and services such as the BBC’s iPlayer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They were warning about a potential collapse of the net in 1996 and it didn't happen.

Apr 30 11:03

Through a Lens Starkly

The recent attention to teen "sexting" has focused quite a lot on the presumed self-exploitation of kids, not so much on the prurient reflex of grown-ups who spy on and punish them. It has dwelt quite a lot on the traps of technology, not so much on the desires that precede picking up a camera. Quite a lot on the question of whether the teens are sex offenders or merely stupid, sluttish or mean, not so much on the freedom to see and be. Quite a lot on the legal meaning of images, not so much on the ways in which making them might delight, or on the cultural freakout that colors law, images and how they are perceived.

Apr 30 08:41

Microsoft preps Windows 7 release

"We were able to shave 400 milliseconds off the shutdown time by slightly trimming the WAV file shutdown music."

Now there's a stunning technological advancement.

Apr 29 19:54

XP Mode in Windows 7 is a scam

IF YOU HAVEN'T been stuck in a cave lately, you will undoubtedly have heard that Windows Vista SP2.1, aka Windows 7, will have an 'XP mode'. Before you jump up and down for joy, you should know that it won't do what you think it will, it is a scam.

Apr 29 11:51

DOD Can’t Handle the Truth?

As we have witnessed in the hunt for Osama, our satellite-photo-addicted intel shops can’t tell us much. But there is a vast amount of 4GW material available open-source: Web sites by and about our opponents, works by civilian academics, material from think-tanks, reports from businessmen who travel in areas we are interested in – the pile is almost bottomless. Every American soldier with access to a computer can find almost anything he needs. Much of it is both more accurate and more useful than what filters down through the military intelligence chain.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The DOD is putting blinders on our troops because the fact is that we are the bad guys in his war and DOD does not want any more soldiers figuring that out for themselves.

Apr 29 10:42

Introducing the Holo-Disc

The products that GE plans to sell based on the technology -- starting in 2012 -- will work in devices similar to current disc readers, allowing buyers to still access and play their old albums, movies, and other media. Crucially, at least from a cost perspective, GE says the new discs will also be manufactured using the same molded plastic technique that's currently used for making discs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Data storage isn't the problem any more for home users, data MANAGEMENT is.

Most home users use their disk drives like closets, simply shoving in more files wherever they may fit. After a few years, you can wind up with stacks of disks and no clue what is on them or where to find things.

New intelligent tools are needed for sorting and categorizing and indexing the inevitable accumulation of files that accompanies increased data storage.

I also hope that the promise of a 100 year life-span is accurate. We heard the same promises when CD-ROM was introduced, then value-engineering resulted in disks that erased themselves after only a few years.

Apr 29 08:32

EFF urges Congress to shine light on FBI data mining

Here's the gist of today's message from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to Congress regarding privacy oversight of the FBI's massive and mysterious Investigative Data Warehouse: We've done all we can do through the Freedom of Information Act; the Obama Administration has abandoned the cause; now, it's up to you to ensure that the rights of law-abiding Americans are protected.

Not much as last chances go.

Apr 28 16:40

Phone bills 'will rise' to pay for database

Ministers want to farm out a Big Brother database of everyone's emails, phone calls and internet use to private companies who will be given the job of storing the data on behalf of the state.

The £2bn cost of the plans could add millions of pounds to phone and internet bills to help pay for new systems to collect and sort private information.

Apr 28 10:22

Data breach generates class action lawsuit

The fallout from Certegy Check Services (CCS) data breach has reached the courts. A class-action lawsuit has been filed by a California law firm against Fidelity National Information Services, accusing it and its CCS subsidiary of negligence, invasion of privacy and breach of implied contract, on behalf of the 8.5 million customers whose sensitive information was sold to direct marketers by a former employee of the check verification service.

Apr 28 10:18

"A Culture Of Surveillance"

The Internet is the last best source of free and independent information left. Think where the liberty movement would be without the Internet. But even as we speak, President Obama and his allies in Congress are attempting to obtain the authority to censor information on--and curtail access to--the Internet. Plus, in the name of "cybersecurity," they are plotting to obtain the authority to monitor and seize anyone's personal computer at will.

Apr 28 10:00

Ghosts in the machine haunt Okie drivers

Occasional when someone tries to build a better mousetrap, he winds up creating more problems.

Such is the case with the digital driver’s licenses unveiled in 2003. At the time, adding digital photographs and thumbprints seemed like a great way to protect the identity of drivers. And it was - until it was time to get one renewed.

According to a recent report by the Associated Press, the new software that compares driver’s license photos has problems, in that it doesn’t always recognize the photo of the person renewing a license.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"No, no, no, you have to get that stamped over at Information Adjustments!!!"

Apr 28 09:56

Why we need municipal Internet

Fed up with the major telecom’s inaction and unwillingness to invest in the technologies of the future, enterprising North Carolina communities like Wilson, Salisbury, and Morganton have taken steps to control their digital destiny. Faced with this competition, the telecoms are working the state legislature, seeking to pile on as many restrictions on these public initiatives as they can. That’s what the “Level Playing Field” Act (H1252/S1004) gives us. It’s a step backwards in every sense of the word.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When I was in San Francisco working on "The Day after Tomorrow", I saw a project working to build community access WiFi. It was a grass roots project that involved neighborhood repeaters built inside PVC pipes for protection. Some were directly wired into the net, others simply did packet forwarding, but for poorer neighborhoods where school kids did not have broadband internet in their homes (or any internet at all), it have them free access to the online world.

The whole point of the original internet was de-centralization, making the net unstoppable and uncensored. We do need to return to those days, and soon, because the internet as we know it today is being turned into just another commercial TV network, albeit with a few more buttons.

Apr 28 09:07

Study finds dip in satisfaction with government Web sites

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The online system to register copyrights at the Library of Congress is the most brain-dead lame interface I have seen in 30 years of working with computers.

n/a
Apr 27 15:55

Konami pulls Six Days in Fallujah

If the game has indeed been canned, one question stands paramount amongst the many moral and ethical quandaries being positied: what did Konami expect?

When commissioning a project based around a war that's not yet over, in which people are still dying, did the publisher believe that the game would be welcomed by the tabloid press, and by families of those who have lost loved ones? Could a global corporation have been so massively naive? Why even greenlight the game in the first place?

Apr 27 09:13

Swine flu: Twitter's power to misinform

Who knew that swine flu could also infect Twitter? Yet this is what appears to have happened in the last 24 hours, with thousands of Twitter users turning to their favorite service to query each other about this nascent and potentially lethal threat as well as to share news and latest developments from Mexico, Texas, Kansas and New York (you can check most recent Twitter updates on the subject by searching for “swine flu” and “#swineflu”). And despite all the recent Twitter-enthusiasm about this platform's unique power to alert millions of people in decentralized and previously unavailable ways, there are quite a few reasons to be concerned about Twitter's role in facilitating an unnecessary global panic about swine flu.

Apr 27 09:01

Apple apologizes for 'Baby Shaker' iPhone app

Apple is apologizing for allowing a 99-cent iPhone game called "Baby Shaker" that let a player quiet a virtual crying infant by shaking the device.

Apple removed the program from the iPhone's App Store on Wednesday, but critics pressed for an apology Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I will be the first to agree that this app was in very poor taste, but really folks; don't we have more important things to fret about?

Apr 27 08:55

ACLU assails Christie for cell phone invasions

While serving as U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie authorized the tracking of people through their cell phones without first obtaining a warrant, the American Civil Liberties Union said yesterday.

The ACLU released documents provided by the Justice Department showing that the U.S. Attorney's Offices in New Jersey and Florida had been granted permission by court order to "obtain mobile phone location information without making a judicial finding of probable cause."

Apr 27 08:24

Plan to monitor all internet use

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If they could really do it, they could locate and shut down the hackers.

Apr 26 07:05

Conficker virus begins to attack PCs

A malicious software program known as Conficker that many feared would wreak havoc on April 1 is slowly being activated, weeks after being dismissed as a false alarm, security experts said.

Apr 25 20:13

Windows 7 reveals XP mode

So there’s going to be an XP mode in Windows 7. What does that mean? For users of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate - sorry, lower-end users! - you will get a full copy of Windows XP that will run under a virtual processor. However, instead of creating a new desktop environment, the XP mode will bring the application up as a window inside Windows 7.

Apr 24 10:00

Detained in Egypt, but still tweeting

Being in police custody in Egypt is not noted for being open to the public gaze, so earlier this month thousands of user of the micro-blog service Twitter were surprised to read updates, or "tweets", from police cells.

Step by step the tweets gave an insight into what it is like to be in custody in Cairo.

Apr 24 08:57

Apple Gets Its Own Trojan Viruses for the First Time

A curious falsehood has surrounded Mac computers over the last decade, as they have resurged onto the market. People believe that Macs are immune to the malware, viruses, and worms that have wrought havoc on PCs.

In reality, OS X is not much more or less secure than Windows Vista -- rather it is Apple's small market share that has protected it. Since Mac attacks would have to be custom-made, there just hasn't been much interest among Black Hats to attack them. Kevin Haley, a director of security response at Symantec, states, "The bad guys generally go toward the biggest target, what will get them the biggest bang for their buck."

However, with surging market share and pop icon status, the Macs are suddenly finding themselves under attack.

Apr 24 06:50

Bernanke put you on the hook for 2 trillion and counting. You are an involuntary investor

Bloomberg.com -The public is an “involuntary investor” in the nation’s banks, according to an April 15 court filing by Bloomberg.

In the report, the Fed detailed its assets in three limited liability corporations, all called Maiden Lane for a street in Lower Manhattan that runs past the New York Fed.

The losses become real if the principal isn’t returned.

Apr 24 05:01

Yahoo pulls the plug on GeoCities - Indicating it is near bankruptcy

BBC News -Yahoo is to close its personal web hosting site GeoCities later this year.

In a statement, the firm says it will no longer be accepting new customers and will focus on helping "customers build new relationships online".

Yahoo bought GeoCities for $3.57bn at the height of the dotcom boom in 1999.

[This is an astonishing admission of just how broke Yahoo! really is. They are saying they cannot afford to operate the servers and pay the modest staff dedicated to Geocities web hosting, which does charge a range of fees for its premium services. The admission is tantamount to saying, We are imploding!]

Apr 24 03:18

Fake Consumer Group Says Price-Gouging Is Good for You

Cable and phone companies, many of which are eyeing similar price structures, don’t want to see TWC fail. So enter the American Consumer Institute, the fake consumer group that is trying to convince us that excluding people from using the Internet is a good thing. Oh, and so is stifling online video innovation.

Apr 23 16:36

Microsoft sales fall for first time in 23 years

Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that declining PC sales hurt revenue, as the software giant reported quarterly sales that fell for the first time in its 23-year history as a public company.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company said sales fell 6% from a year earlier to $13.7 billion, missing analysts' expectations of $14.1 billion.

Apr 23 16:29

RSA Offers Encryption Toolkit Free To Developers

RSA traditionally had licensed only its BSAFE encryption technology, which can cost customers tens of thousands of dollars, but company officials say the timing is right to give developers easier access to tools for building more security features into applications from the ground up, rather than tacking them on later. The new Share Project is an online community for developers that provides support, information, and free downloads of RSA's encryption toolkits for C/C++ and Java. The company plans to offer more free security tools under the program, as well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is good news for people who want a certain degree of security in their applications, but for those of you wanting to keep the government out of your private business, there is a drawback.

Breaking a code requires two steps. First, the method must be worked out. After the method is worked out, then the key for a particular message must be found.

Of the two, finding the method is the most difficult. This was the major sticking point for the Allies during WW2 in trying to break the Enigma code, and the method was not solved until an Enigma was captured from a Nazi sub. Once they had the machine and the method, it became a matter of brute force (and Turing's machines) to find the keys.

With RSA (or DES or Clipper or ... ) the government starts out knowing the method used for encryption. And with three acres of supercomputers underneath NSA's Fort Mead complex, finding the keys to a particular message is only a matter of time, usually seconds.

Apr 23 16:23

Researchers Find Massive Botnet On Nearly 2 Million Infected Consumer, Business, Government PCs

Apr 23 09:20

Pirate Bay lawyer calls for retrial

A lawyer representing one of the men convicted in the Pirate Bay trial has called for a retrial after reports that the judge was a member of the same copyright protection organisations as several of the main entertainment industry representatives.

Apr 23 08:27

The FBI as an ethical hacker?

The FBI depends on exploiting software bugs to install CIPAV. I would like my software vendors to fix bugs that would let in spyware even if it makes life hard for the FBI. I hope that the software vendors are not leaving bugs unfixed or purposeful back doors just to help the FBI, because sooner or later the bad guys will find them and exploit them -- maybe even against the FBI.

Also I'd like my antispyware software to find and report on all spyware, but there have been reports that some antispyware companies have agreed to ignore the FBI tool. This provides a great opportunity for spyware developers to create software that looks enough like the FBI program so that the antispyware software will ignore it as well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Anyone here who trusts the FBI to confine its activities to fighting crime needs to go back to yesterday's stories about FBI agents using their little taxpayer-funded toys to watch teenage girls getting naked in dressing rooms.

Apr 22 15:39

Norton Anti-Virus Fails The Test - Beat by Free Software!

What’s wrong with this picture? When a consumer purchases top of the line Anti-virus software, they expect to solve their virus problems. Norton’s excuse that the viruses prevented their program from operating properly doesn’t hold water when downloading a free program solves all of the issues. Is Norton admitting they can’t even compete with a free program and their software is so fragile that run of the mill Trojan horses render it ineffective when free programs operate seamlessly? In short, Norton wouldn’t do the job unless we paid them more money - and in my opinion, that’s gouging, especially when said issues are cured by free software.

Apr 22 15:20

You're Participating In The Facebook Terms Of Service Vote, Right?

Facebook may have set the threshhold too high at 30% of global users considering the original pushback came from the U.S. audience, but 300,000 is an embarrassingly low number for something so many people seemed to be so upset about. Our prediction: the vote will be declared invalid due to underparticipation, and Facebook will be able to say "Well, we tried, and nobodyreally cared," and go back to the legalese practically every other site uses. And if less than half a million out of 200 million registered users bother to vote, then they may have a point.

Apr 21 12:30

Layoff Daily Owner is laying himself off.

It's not expensive to keep up site, but it just takes too much time.

Apr 21 07:58

Report: Hackers break into Pentagon's fighter jet project

The reported attack raised more questions than it answered.

For example, the report did not say how attackers managed to download terabytes of data before being discovered. A single terabyte can take up to several weeks to download over a relatively fast data connection, such as a Digital Subscriber Line or cable modem.

The report also suggested that China could be behind the stolen data, noting that investigators believe the attack originated in China. However, it said the exact identities of the people behind the attack had not been established.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... who could be anywhere in the world.

Apr 21 07:42

Obama Campaign's Multi-Million Dollar Propaganda Firm Deployed in Iraq to Advise on "New Media"

With Iraq in ruins, Obama sends a politically connected firm, along with reps from AT&T, Google, and Twitter to build 'smart power' in Baghdad.

Apr 20 20:10

FoxNews.com Serving Up Infected Ads?

Users in our security forum have discovered that advertisements delivered via the FoxNews.com website have been using popup malware to force-deliver artificial anti-virus malware onto the PCs of unsuspecting visitors (of which Fox has countless millions). One of our more skilled scambusters and "malvertising" gurus has further dissected (with photos) the exact scumware delivery mechanism at work here -- and notes that users don't even need to click on an ad banner at the website in order to get infected. The vsm_free_setup.exe forced download the ads are instituting originates from Russia or the Ukraine, and appears to involve a keylogger.

Apr 20 11:58

Instead of Bailing Out Mainstream Newspapers, How About Bailing Out Real Journalists?

Congress is again making noises about bailing out the newspaper industry.

But the mainstream papers - other than a select few, such as McClatchy - were largely cheerleaders for the Iraq war, and covered up (or - as in the case of the New York Times - delayed for a year so the story would not effect elections) crimes like illegal spying on Americans.

Instead of bailing out lapdogs for the government and mouthpieces for the wealthy, how about giving seed money to alternative journalists who actually report the news without pulling punches?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I could use s few bucks! :)

Apr 20 11:01

Nano Tattoos

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been working on what they are calling “nano skins,” a composite of nanotubes and polymers. Their invention is flexible and thin enough to fit underneath the skin, without losing the ability to conduct electricity. That’s a lot of work for something so incredibly small. With these attributes, the potential real world applications of the technology are simply awesome.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... like renting your forehead out as advertising space?

:)

Apr 20 09:41

Big Bro’s Cybersecurity Act: A means to shut down the Internet

The net-net of all this is to create a net to bag the Internet, right now the only alternative media this country has. I forget who said, “in the process of protecting liberty, do not further steps to destroy it.” You get the drift. You’re netting out, if this bill goes through, with all news being carried by the not so trustworthy so-called MSM corporate networks; radio and print controlled by profit-making newswires and television by the Towers of Babel, the likes of General Electric.

Apr 20 08:31

S Korea blogger found not guilty

ark Dae-sung, better known as Minerva, built up a huge online following by making largely negative - and accurate - predictions on the economy.

Apr 20 07:45

Pirate Bay 'could soon be obsolete'

Politics aside, future victories for copyright holders are looking increasingly shaky as Bitorrent tracking sites such as The Pirate Bay are about to be replaced by applications such as the Tribler. Where the current crop of bittorrent filesharing applications need to be pointed at torrent tracking sites such as The Pirate Bay to find files, Tribler's searches are done over the networks of fellow bittorrent users, sidestepping centralised torrent tracking sites altogether.

Apr 20 07:39

Using A Proxy Server Will Lead To Harsher Sentences

Some analysts believe this legislation is an effort to stop leaked US Government information from reaching outside sources, such as Wikileaks. The legislation will be voted on by the United States Sentencing Commission on April 15, and is set to take effect on November 1st. The EFF has already urged the Commission to reject the amendment.

Apr 20 03:26

American militancy rising - Are would-be revolutionaries again choosing symbols of societal excess with which to marshall revolutionary fervor?

Portland Independent Media Center - April 19. Early morning, after the workers went home. Five windows smashed with rocks at McDonald's on Ocean St. An act of insurrection against work, capital, and the colonization of daily life.

From Alaska to Argentina, warriors unite! Don't wait for 2010, riot now!
Attack and destroy slavery and colonization everywhere!

[What's going on here? This seemingly innocuous bit of hooliganism is being portrayed and even encouraged in this Internet article as a new revolutionary zeal. Is there enough angry sentiment for this sort of protest to catch on? Stay tuned -is likely the best bet for what is possible in the coming months. Summer looks to be long and hot all across this vastly impoverished new America.]

Apr 19 19:48

17-Year-Old Behind Recent Twitter Worm Offered Job After Claiming Responsibility

For the social networking darling Twitter, it was a headache and potential threat. But for the young man behind the computer worm that attacked the micro-blogging site this week, it was a fast track to a job.

Called both "Mikeyy" and "StalkDaily," the pesky computer program crashed the tweet-fest for the first time over the weekend, leaving thousands of unwanted messages in its wake.

Infected accounts not only displayed posts left by Twitter users and their followers, but messages directing users to StalkDaily.com and saying things such as "Mikeyy I am done…," "Twitter please fix this" and "Twitter hire Mikeyy."

Apr 19 17:43

A Warning About Spyware On Rightwing Blogs

Today I clicked over from memeorandum to the hardline rightwing blog Stop The ACLU, to see what the bloggers there had to say about an issue. Immediately, my Avast! anti-virus software and Spybot S&D software warned me that a Win-32 Trojan virus had been uploaded and was trying to re-write my registry files so it could snuggle in closer.

Apr 19 17:21

The Real Pirate Bay

Set up a torrent tracker, get fined, go to jail.

Join a bank, destroy the economy, profit.

Apr 19 15:37

Saying the IPO money TOTALLY ran out months ago, Yahoo plans to eliminate up to 600 jobs

The San Francisco Chronicle Verne Kopytoff -In an effort to jump-start its business, Yahoo Inc. is planning to cut up to 600 jobs, a person familiar with the matter said.

Apr 19 10:58

The Truth about Facebook!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is not to say that social networking sites are not useful and fun, but use some common sense about what you share. Computer nets are NOT private. Imagine that whatever you post to a social network site is the same as gluing it to the front of your house where people on the street can see it.

Apr 19 09:55

Labour general secretary denies plan to set up website to spread Tory smears

Apr 18 07:13

Facebook vote a 'massive con trick' says privacy advocate

Facebook has deliberately changed the rules around its much-hyped "user vote" to ensure that it won't have to follow decisions made.

The company originally said that if 25 per cent of users voted in favour of a change in its terms and conditions it would consider that binding. But that percentage has now gone up to 30 per cent.

Simon Davies of lobby group Privacy International said: "the idea of establishing a thirty percent participation threshold is a complete joke. It will never be reached, and Facebook knows it. Earlier this year the figure had been set at 25 percent, and it was edged up because of concerns that users might actually succeed in changing the terms and conditions”.

Apr 17 16:58

Tapping your cell phone

13 Investigates explains how your cell phone can be secretly hijacked and used against you - and how to protect yourself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I understand it, the crooks have to get their hands on the actual phones to install the spyware.

That being said, we can assume that the US Government has their spyware installed right at the factory, so at night I leave my cell phone sitting on a radio tuned to a bible-banger station. :)

Apr 17 11:40

Pirate Bay four jailed for breaking copyright in Swedish file-sharing trial

Defence lawyers had argued the men should be acquitted because The Pirate Bay does not host any copyright-protected material. Instead, it provides a forum for its users to download content through so-called torrent files. The technology allows users to transfer parts of a large file from several different users, increasing download speeds.

But the court found the defendants guilty of helping users commit copyright violations "by providing a website with ... sophisticated search functions, simple download and storage capabilities, and through the tracker linked to the website".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The fundamental problem behind content theft isn't the technology. And as a result technology will never succeed in stopping content theft.

The fundamental problem behind content theft is that it is impossible to convince people that making a copy of a file is any kind of a crime when they see the leaders of this country stealing from the rest of the world, torturing people, lying to start wars, and getting away with it.

When we hold our leaders to the law, the people will follow.

And not before.

Apr 17 09:38

Police think killer stalks women via Craigslist

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Bad, bad, Craiglist! Bad, bad, very bad, double-plus UNgood Internet!" -- ABCNNBBCBS

Apr 17 08:15

iBotnet: Researchers find signs of zombie Macs

Malware hunters at Symantec have discovered a direct link between a malicious file embedded in pirated copies of Apple’s iWork 09 software and what appears to be the first Mac OS X botnet launching denial-of-service attacks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Waiting for an iPology from all those sneering MAC owners.

Apr 17 08:02

Video Bloggers Fear “You” Being Phased Out Of YouTube

A new You Tube video getting a lot of attention highlights concerns that the “You” is being phased out of YouTube, as individual users are sidelined by regulation and censorship in favor of corporate domination of the popular video website, an eventuality that we first warned about years ago.

The clip makes the case that You Tube has all but eliminated the prominence of individual video channels and artificially suppressed their chances of topping the popular ranking charts.

Apr 16 10:25

Woman killed by laptop

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Goddamned VISTA!!!!! :)

Seriously, I wonder why they are going on about the laptop when it was the Tow Truck that is the obvious cause here.

Apr 16 08:17

Officials Say U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded Law

The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.

Several intelligence officials, as well as lawyers briefed about the matter, said the N.S.A. had been engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications of Americans. They described the practice as significant and systemic, although one official said it was believed to have been unintentional.

Apr 15 16:05

Win 7: Looks to be Vista disaster, Take 2

InformationWeek has been given a first-look at data collected by KACE from over 1100 sources regarding corporate uptake of Windows 7 after it's released later this year. According to their stats, 83% of businesses will not be upgrading to Windows 7 until at least 2011, making the Windows 7 launch quite possibly a Vista Take 2 under additional declines in OS market share.

The failure of corporations to migrate to Windows 7 raises additional concerns over Microsoft's slipping OS market share as Vista sales have declined 8% in the most recent quarter, and Linux is reaping the benefits.

Apr 15 15:49

US mulls stiffer sentences for common Net proxies

A key vote Wednesday on new federal sentencing guidelines would classify the use of proxies as evidence of "sophistication," increasing sentences by about 25 percent - which could mean years or even decades longer behind bars, depending on the crime. It's akin to judges handing down stiffer sentences when a gun is used in a robbery.

Yet digital-rights advocates are worried. Although they aren't absolving criminals, they complain that the proposal is so broad, it could lead to unnecessarily harsh sentences for tech neophytes who didn't know they were using proxies in the first place or who were simply engaging in a practice often encouraged as a safer way of using the Internet.

Apr 15 14:33

FREENET

http://freenetproject.org/whatis.html

Freenet is free software which lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship. To achieve this freedom, the network is entirely decentralized and publishers and consumers of information are anonymous. Without anonymity there can never be true freedom of speech, and without decentralization the network will be vulnerable to attack.

Communications by Freenet nodes are encrypted and are "routed-through" other nodes to make it extremely difficult to determine who is requesting the information and what its content is.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A different way to send info over the internet.

n/a
Apr 14 19:03

Britain in the dock over secret tracking of internet accounts

Fears that Britain was slipping into a surveillance society were heightened yesterday as Brussels initiated legal action after declaring that UK laws guaranteeing data protection were “structurally flawed” and well below the European standard.

The criticism arose after the European Commission investigated the use of “behavioural advertising technology” by British internet service providers, which it found was illegal under European — but not British — law.

Apr 14 12:33

YouTube deep in dog doo

YouTube is about to go down the gurgler according to Benjamin Wayne the CEO of Fliqz.

Apr 14 07:51

Don't be fooled by the power of the blog

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The blogs scoop the corporate media, and now corporate media tries to ride the blogs' coat tails!

Apr 13 19:34

FIDONET

FidoNet consists of approximately 10,000 systems world-wide which comprise a network which exchanges mail and files via Modems using a proprietary protocol. They are connected for the purposes of exchanging E-Mail to the Internet thru a series of gateway systems which interact with the Internet via UUCP with cooperating UNIX-based smart-hosts which act as their MX-receivers.

With some exceptions, you cannot Telnet or FTP to a FidoNet site, only communicate via E-Mail and Usenet News.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the alternative to the internet discussed on today's radio shows.

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